Monessen girls rebuilding under veteran coach Corley

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017 | 6:24 PM


When Major Corley first took over the Monessen girls basketball team back in the 1980s, he built a program that produced three WPIAL championships, six WPIAL runners-up and a PIAA title, as well as some major college players.

Chanel Allen played at Notre Dame, and athletic director Gina Naccarato played for Duquesne.

Corley stepped down for a few seasons, and the program slowly crumbled.

He returned for the 2016-17 season, and Monessen went 0-22, something the veteran coach was not used to seeing.

Corley sees a positive future, but added it's going to take a few seasons to get there.

“I might not be around to see it, but the numbers are up on the middle school team and in the midget program,” Corley said.

But Corley's current thoughts are finding enough players to field a squad and enough players to practice against. His starting center quit this week.

“Things have changed a lot since I first coached,” Corley said. “It's not like the old days. Kids don't play multiple sports anymore. They specialize on one.

“I like to pressure and run all over the court, and the word is some of the girls don't run and want to play that style. But that's what we like to do. Last year, we finished with seven players, and there were a lot of games we were in until we got tired.”

Corley said he hopes the current players compete well enough to bring life back to the program.

He's counting on senior Natalia Holmes and juniors Madison Telegraphis and Marqula Green to play important roles, along with Qitarah Hardison and Zykavia Hairston.

Last year, West Greene (10-0) won Section 2-A. Geibel (6-4) and Jefferson-Morgan (6-4) tied for second place, and Avella (5-5) was fourth. Mapletown (3-7) finished fifth.

Corley's goals are simple — win two, three, four or five games and hopefully make the WPIAL playoffs.

“I believe we're talented enough to do that,” Corley said. “We just have to get girls interested in the program.

“When I decide to step down, I have an assistant coach who'd like to take over. But right now I'm still scanning the halls looking for more players.”

Corley just hopes his persistence and work helps Monessen return to glory.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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